Marlboro maker altria group sells idled philip morris usa cigarette plant in nc for $68.5m

RICHMOND, Virginia The owner of the nation’s biggest tobacco company, Philip Morris USA, has sold a North Carolina cigarette plant it idled in 2009.

Richmond, Virginia based Altria Group Inc. said Monday that the property in Cabarrus County was sold last week to Victory Industrial Park LLC.

The property includes 3.5 million square feet of buildings, including the old cigarette manufacturing facility, warehouses and a utility plant. According to county records, it was sold for $68.5 million.

In 2009, Altria closed the factory that employed 2,500 and moved all of its cigarette manufacturing to its Richmond plant to bring its capacity in line with falling demand for cigarettes industrywide.

The maker of Marlboro cigarettes in the U.S. saw its overall volumes decline about 4 percent to 129.3 billion cigarettes last year.

E-cig laws update: congress pushes for stronger e-cigarette regulations : us&politics : latin post

While Britain’s medical journal, The Lancet, published a report last year stating e cigarettes were a safe alternative to quit smoking and are as effective as nicotine patches, the Centers for Disease Control found that teen use of e cigarettes had more than doubled from 2011 to 2012.

The report as written by the staff of Sens. Dick Durbin (D Ill.) and Tom Harkin (D Iowa) along with Rep. Henry Waxman (D Calif.) and other legislators, Al Jazeera reported.

The report advocates that more scientific research should be conducted on the products and its effects. Last year, a group of 41 U.S. attorneys general issued a letter to the Food and Drug Administration urging the agency to «take all available measures» in coming up with guidelines for the device.

Sen. Durbin told the Associated Press that he’s concerned with the amount of time the FDA has taken to issue any regulations and argues that more young people will become addicted to the product if the FDA doesn’t act soon enough.

«I can’t understand why the FDA is taking this long,» Durbin said. «It is clear that the longer they wait, the more young people will be addicted.»

In 2009, the FDA was granted the power to regulate several marketing and manufacturing aspects of tobacco. It said in 2011 that it was going to impose regulations but it didn’t submit a proposal to the Office of Management and Budget until last October.

The report, which followed up on a congressional investigation into nine e cigarette makers launched in September, found that six of the companies spent more than $59 million on advertising and promotion in 2013, according to Al Jazeera.

Two of the companies investigated were found to have increased their marketing expenses by more than 300 percent between 2012 and 2013 while e cigarette sales reached to nearly $2 billion in 2013.

Durbin said the FDA should accept the responsibility of regulating the product similar to tobacco so that it doesn’t get into the hands of children.

TagsSmoking, Cigarettes, e cigarettes, fda, congress, Investigation, The Lancet